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150 Canyon Circle Drive
Sedona, Arizona, AZ 86351, United States
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LITTLE HORSE TRAIL

Appreciate the view of the Chapel of the Holy Cross from the Little Horse Trail.

This relatively flat and winding trail lets you get up close and personal with Sedona’s Red Rocks.

 

ARTICLE BY TERESA K. TRAVERSE. PHOTOGRAPH BY DEB WEINKAUFF.


Little Horse Trail is one of our favorite hikes for two key reasons – the trail is relatively flat and lets you get up close to Sedona’s famed red rocks. The trail kicks off just past the parking lot on the Bell Rock Trail. Make an immediate right to get on the Bell Rock Trail. From there, the hike runs against the traffic on nearby AZ-179. See if you can spot Bell Rock in the distance. You’ll hear cars speeding by until you take a left to get on the Little Horse Trail. It intersects with Bell Rock Trail at 0.25 mile. The trail descends here. Tread carefully on the loose rocks. We’ll admit we lost our footing.

Little Horse Trail is relatively flat and winding, making it an ideal trail for mountain bikers too. Be mindful of them as you hike.

As you follow the trail, you’ll be surrounded by Cypress trees. Appreciate the unique vista of the Chapel on the horizon to the left. If you want to trek out to see this iconic site, the Little Horse trail intersects with the Chapel Trail at just past the one-mile mark. Turn left if you want to see the Chapel. Turn right to stay on Little Horse. At this point, you can see a choice view of the Madonna and the Nuns spire rock formation. Go past the gray fence at mile 1.4. As you hike, you’ll be close enough to almost touch the base of the red rocks of Twin Buttes – one of the things we just love about this trial.

As you hug the base of Twin Buttes, you’ll eventually make a slight ascent to reach the slickrock saddle Chicken Point. The trail can become a little hard to follow at this point. Search for cairns – stacks of rocks that mark a trail – wrapped in wire fencing to find your way. You’ll ascend just a few feet to enjoy one of our favorite viewpoints in town.

From Chicken Point, you’ll enjoy 360 red rock views. We even spotted a Pink Jeep Tour group there. You can extend your hike by tackling the Broken Arrow trail, which kicks off at Chicken Point. Or turn back the way you came for a 3.6 mile total hike. Post-hike, we stretched our legs on a shaded bench just past the trailhead. Consider packing a snack. We spotted two people enjoying one at a picnic table in the parking lot.

 

 

DIRECTIONS: From AZ-89A, go south on AZ-179. Make a left turn into the Little Horse Trailhead, which is marked by a sign. The parking lot is circular. It also has one-way entrances and exits to be mindful of. A Red Rock Pass displayed in your dashboard is required to park. Parking costs $5 per person for a daily day pass. The machine is right by the big sign giving you an overview of the Bell Rock Pathway, which this trail is a part of. There’s one restroom on site. When we took this hike in mid-October, there was a sign warning about car break-ins. Be sure to secure your valuables or leave them at home. If the Little Horse Trailhead parking lot is full, a sign suggests parking at the Yavapi Vista parking lot, which lies across the street.